in the Schools
A Presentation by Clay “G” Mills, Ph.D.
WCSD School Psychologist Copyright 2008
This information is intended for an individual to review on an as needed basis as part of the District’s new teacher
induction program. No part of this presentation may be modified, printed, or presented without the author’s
This workshop on confidentiality is designed to meet
federal requirements for staff training while
increasing staff awareness of their responsibilities
regarding privacy of student records.
What can I do personally
and/or professionally to
improve my practice in
regards to preserving the
students, staff, parents,
and others that I serve?
Confidentiality In PracticeConfidentiality In Practice
Goals of this presentation:Goals of this presentation:
Awareness of confidentiality laws and
requirements, and district policy!
Complying with procedures regarding
educational records, and the concept of
“Personally Identifiable Information” and
Define “Educationally Relevant” and
“Legitimate Educational Interest”.
Being sensitive to violations of
confidentiality in verbal exchanges with others.
Three Confidentiality LawsThree Confidentiality Laws
1.1. FERPAFERPA--Family Education RightsFamily Education Rights
and Privacy Actand Privacy Act
2.2. IDEAIDEA--Individuals With DisabilitiesIndividuals With Disabilities
Education ActEducation Act
3.3. HIPPAHIPPA--Health InsuranceHealth Insurance
Portability and Accountability ActPortability and Accountability Act
Definition of EducationDefinition of Education
Records, files, documents and other materials
which contain information directly related to a
student and are maintained by an educational agency
or institution, or by a person acting for such agency
Educational records should be disposed of properly.
Know your “shredding” policy.
Principal, teachers, secretaries, custodian, bus
driver, aides, food service workers, secretarial…who
else? What about substitutes and volunteers?
Any personal identifier:
(Driver’s License #, Census #, etc.)
A list of personal characteristics that
would make it possible to identify the
student (handicap, etc.)
Ask these questions
to protect yourself
1.1. WhoWho is listening (or could be?)
2.2. WhatWhat is being discussed
3.3. WhenWhen is the meeting to take place
4. Where the discussion takes place
5.5. HowHow are items discussed & documented
6.6. WhyWhy the discussion took place
WhoWho is listeningis listening
(or could be?)
1. If the parties to the discussion are school
officials with legitimate educational interest,
there is no problem with confidentiality.
2. If others are listening who have no
legitimate educational interest (such as a
teacher who is eavesdropping, a nosy child
on the playground, children in the hall, etc.)
confidentiality may be violated.
3. If the discussion occurs in a public place
(such as the playground, the halls, a busy
teachers’ lounge, the Laundromat), there is
a good chance that confidentiality could be
WhatWhat is discussedis discussed
1. If the discussion involves directory
information (name, address, etc.) there is
no problem unless the parent has refused to
have this information released.
2. If the discussion involves other personally
identifiable information that is confidential
(disability, family data, etc.), the parties
should be sure that legitimate educational
interest is involved.
3. If the discussion involves information that
is rumor, opinion, or hearsay, chances are
that confidentiality will be in question, and
the parties have moved from
professionalism to gossip.
WhenWhen is the meetingis the meeting
to take placeto take place
Quiet time vs. busy time
Before school vs. after school
Before lunch vs. after lunch
During class time vs. prep time
Convenient for teacher vs. parent
Meeting is planned vs. “winging-it”
Allow enough time vs. hurried and
WhereWhere the discussionthe discussion
takes placetakes place
If the discussion occurs in a
private place (such as a
teacher’s empty room, empty
teachers’ lounge), there is no
problem with confidentiality.
Hallways, playground, outside,
pose confidentiality breach
Any other threats?
HowHow are items discussed &are items discussed &
Why the discussion took
Did you invite the appropriate people?
Are there people in attendance who don’t
really belong in this discussion?
If the parties have legitimate educational
interest in a student and are sharing
information that will help them work
with the child, then there is no problem
If the parties are gossiping to pass time,
carrying on with stories about a student
or his family, or for other non-
educational reasons, there is probably a
problem with confidentiality.
You may be only
one person in
But you may also
be the world to
For more information, Contact:
Your Building Principal,
Lyle Cox, Human Resources
Manager, Clay Mills, School
Contact Information:Contact Information:
Clay “G” Mills, Ph.D.
Washington County School District
121 West Tabernacle
St. George, Utah 84770
Phone: (435) 673-3553 (ext. 203)
I welcome comments and suggestions for future presentations….